Tag Archives: marriage

Wobbling through a Weary WidowLand

cruise-pic

 

I am a widow.  I find I have to repeat the phrase several times a day.  I can’t believe it.  I still cannot believe it.  On forms where you designate marital status – I now have to check “W”.  I’ve spent the majority of my life and nearly all my adult life as an “M”.  I do not know how to be a single person, let alone a widowed person.

After the accident, I did not even think I could breathe without my beloved.  I didn’t even want to.  But breathe I did…and I surprised myself with my strength.  I was numb, bruised, disoriented, and incredibly heartbroken – but the sun continued to come up every day and life continued on for those of us left behind.  But what a painful life it was in its emptiness.  I thought that grief would crush me.  I felt as though I was swimming to the surface of a murky pool of sadness and misery, and sometimes I felt I was being pulled backward.  But I kept swimming, struggling.  At the surface would be the things I would need to survive: healing, peace, love, hope, and strength.

I learned to do a lot of things that he had always taken care of.  I navigated forms, accounts, procedures and processes I never dreamed even existed.  I learned about “primary account holders” and credit cards that can be cut off while you are stranded in Nebraska waiting for your husband’s remains.  I wrote his obituary, and planned a celebration of life, even though I could not celebrate.  Did not want to celebrate.  I just wanted him back.  I wanted my family to be whole again.  I wanted to be an “M” again.

I forgot our joint bank account number – and learned that account will have to be closed anyway because he was the account owner.  I learned that people that I didn’t even know prayed for me and for my family.  I learned that what I had always believed, was true – things don’t matter, people do.  I learned that a traumatic event can be relived over and over again – with or without triggers, and with or without being awake.  I learned that just because your heart is already broken, doesn’t mean it can’t break again every day when you wake up alone, or go to bed alone…or try to read a note he wrote in his incredibly sloppy handwriting.

I don’t sleep.  I don’t even want to most of the time.  I’m afraid of what I’ll dream.  I sleep with one of his t-shirts, with a book he gave me under my pillow “100 Reasons I Love You”.  His things, his books, pictures, clothing – all of it brings me comfort and smiles – but is just as likely to turn to tears when it hits me again, like a fist to the stomach.  He is not coming back.  I’ll never kiss him again or feel his arms around me.  I’ll never hear his voice again, or smell his clean, soap smell.  Never again in this lifetime.

I have given up trying to understand.  There is no understanding a freak injury in a freak accident.  There is only acceptance.  Acceptance of the fact that I am now wobbling my way, weary and weepy, through this wretched state of widowhood.

I am still on my feet and I no longer wish I had died there alongside the highway – lying in the median beside him.  I am glad to be alive and want to really start living again instead of just breathing and going through the motions.  It is going to be a long, and very slow process with many hills and valleys and I’m sure to stumble along the way.  But I’ll keep moving forward.

Widows wobble but they don’t fall down…

 

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December 31, 2016 · 12:40 AM

Alone, Again. Naturally.

 

sleepy lioness

You visited me last night, as I knew you would eventually.  It was my first night completely alone and instead of feeling lonely and sad, there was a certain peace over the household.  I held your pillow – and your unwashed shirt, the one that says “I’m the reason the beer’s always gone” – and drifted off easily.  Your presence is very much felt in this home, as it always will be.  Your chair, your dreadfully messy desk, your pictures…your scent which is fading daily.

You smiled your sweet smile and told me that I would be all right and for a second I believed you.  You said I was strong, and for a second I believed you.  You said you loved me and that I did believe completely.  You said I would be happy again someday and I laughed and called you a liar.  You smiled your sweet smile again.  You told me to go ahead and laugh, swim, play, write, and yes, cry if I must.   I asked you what it was like where you were – but you were gone, as quickly as you had appeared.

I woke, as I often do these days, with damp cheeks and a huge empty hole in my heart.  And I was alone again.  Naturally.

Alone Again, Naturally

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I. Will. Never. Forget.

wedding day

 

I lay facing my sleeping husband in the bright moonlight.  It was nearly as bright in the room as if we’d left a light on.  As usual, at least one part of our bodies was touching…no matter the size of the bed, we found each other.  In this case our knees were touching.  I stared into his face – so brightly illuminated, and listened to his gentle snores.

I traced his features with my fingertips, over and over, as if trying to memorize them.  The scars from skin cancer removals and drunken teenage car wrecks…the wiry eyebrows I had promised to trim but somehow had neglected to find the time to attend to.  The smooth upper lip that had carried the moustache for so many years that I loved – but that he had come to hate.  The lips I had kissed countless times.  I knew every pore, every scar, every inch but I kept tracing, studying, reveling in his face so close to mine.  He opened his eyes briefly and looked into mine.  “You’ll never forget me” he said and gently kissed me…and we fell asleep.

Thirty-six hours later I lay next to my husband in the grassy median of I-80 in Nebraska, under a clear blue sky in the warm sunshine, as paramedics worked frantically over him.  I held his hand and looked for the last time at the face I had loved so much for so many years.  I whispered my goodbye, and promised never to forget.  And I never will.

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Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

Shift Change – Romantic Monday

My husband and I are working different shifts – he comes to bed as I am waking up and leaves for work as I am driving home at the end of my work day. Sometimes those brief moments when we are both in the same location (our bed) at the same time are all we have together in the course of our day.

My first entry in Edward Hotspur’s Romantic Monday weekly feature:

sleepy-logo-small

SHIFT CHANGE

In the quiet predawn hour

I listen for his key in the lock –

Home after a long night shift.

I’ve warmed his side of the bed

With my head on his pillow.

He hopes I am asleep but secretly

Wants to snuggle and talk

Before attempting to sleep

Through a day filled with lawnmowers,

Barking dogs, sirens and sunshine.

He slides under the covers;

Icy skin against my warmth.

Snuggled perfectly and comfortably we

Drift in and out of sleep, together.

My arm around him, our fingers intertwined.

His breathing slows – mine quickens

Neither moves – he drifts off to sleep

I drift awake – a sweet transition.

Happy for the closeness.

Together in this moment.

For the rest of our lives

Forever.

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Filed under Poems, Poetry and Poem-etry, Uncategorized

When I Said I Do…

k8edid and Sweet Cheeks – Two Wild and Crazy Kids, circa 1979 (photo credit – my Mom, I think, maybe my sister, I don’t remember).

When I said I do, I meant that I will ’til the end of all time
Be faithful and true, devoted to you…
That’s what I had in mind when I said I do

          – Lyrics – When I Said I Do

by Clint Black

Thirty-three years ago today I said “I do”.  And I meant it.  In the cluttered office of a town judge, with a couple of friends and a couple of German Shepherds as witnesses, we joined our hearts and our lives together.

It hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been fun, but it has always been the best thing that ever happened to me.  There have been low points, fabulous high points and a lot of mundane times in between that we slogged through side-by-side – sometimes shouldering the load together – sometimes depending on the other to be stronger, tougher, more resilient.  There have been disappointments, setbacks, and challenges.  There have been many lessons learned, periods of intense joy, and an abundance of blessings.

A lot has changed in 33 years.  I am no longer the frightened, insecure young woman who needed constant reassurance – but he provides it anyway, showing me each and every day that I am loved, needed, and wanted.  He endures my moods, laughs at my jokes, devours every word I write and believes in me in everything that I do.

He is not perfect.  He has a preoccupation with sports that is beyond annoying.  The sound of his chewing makes me want to pick up a steak knife  and do some damage to his lateral pterygoid (his manners are impeccable, but his jaw muscles just make so much noise when he chews that I want to scream).  He snores, can’t cook, and his handwriting is legendary in its illegibility.  But in the ways that matter – he is a rock star.

I know that I’m not perfect, either.  I am perpetually cynical, sporadically foul-mouthed, incredibly impatient, and occasionally passive-aggressive.   Okay, maybe more than occasionally.  I sometimes take advantage of his easy-going nature, and a lot of my “jokes” are at his expense.  I like to be right.  And I like to be told that I’m right.  Repeatedly.  Am I right?

I do not know how many more years we will have together, but I know they will not be enough.  I hope he knows that today, and everyday, I meant what I said that afternoon so many years ago.  I do.  And I will.

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Filed under General Mumblings